NA wants new laws on citizens' data management

HA NOI  (VNS) — The National Assembly's National Defence and Security Committee has proposed that the draft law on Citizen Identification includes a chapter with regulations on developing, managing and using the national citizens' database.

The chapter should also deal with the links between this database and other "specific" databases, the committee said at a meeting of National Assembly's Standing Committee yesterday.

The proposal was made after the committee reviewed the draft law and received comments from deputies.

Nguyen Kim Khoa, Chairman of the National Defence and Security Committee, said that the national citizens' database would be the combination of all specific databases compiled by various ministries and sector.

It can be shared by ministries, sectors and agencies, thus allowing for more efficient and effective use of resources in collecting and exploiting the data, he said.

Khoa also announced that his committee, which was assigned to the review the draft law, agreed that every Vietnamese citizen would be issued a personal identity card with a 12-digit code.

The ID card would be issued as soon as a baby is born and would replace the birth certificate, Khoa said, adding that the move would ensure equality among citizens regardless of their age in accordance with Constitution 2013 approved last year.

At present, only citizens who are above 14 years of age are eligible to have ID cards.

As citizens under 14 are yet to have stable identifying characters like fingerprints, their cards will carry the names of parents. The cards will be changed once they turn 14.

After the birth of a child is reported to the commune or ward administration, authorised officers will collect the needed information including name, gender, date of birth, place of bird, nationality and parents' information.

The information will be transferred to the police for issuance of an ID card for the baby that will carry lifetime validity for administrative transactions.

Truong Thi Mai, Chairwoman of the NA's Committee for Social Affairs, said that the citizen identification cards with codes are expected to reduce administrative paperwork, as citizens would be required to report their basic personal information only once, after which they can use their ID code when working with administrative agencies.

She asked for an estimate on the number of administrative papers that would be removed and the number that would be retained.

Mai also wanted to know if information that is likely to change frequently, like health insurance and social insurance, would be included in the database for the ID card.

Tran Van Ve, a member of the draft law board from Ministry of Public Security said that the ID card would carry information from 16 fields, so some paperwork would remain.

Dao Trong Thi, chairman of the NA's Committee for Culture, Education, Adolescents and Child Affairs, said that it was necessary to clarify mechanisms for updating and accessing the national citizen database.

"There will be no simplifying of administrative procedures or application of information technology if officials at communes or wards collect and transfer citizens' information manually to the police for ID card issuance," Thi said.

Later in the afternoon, the NA Standing Committee also discussed several issues related to the revised People's Court Organisation Law.

The deputies asked for more clarity on certain terms like "judicial power" or "judicial precedent" to ensure their consistent application.

They also discussed the tenure of judges at different levels, agreeing that judges for the Supreme People's Court should be entitled to work until retirement without a limit on their tenure unless they take up other work.

They also agreed that judges at lower levels should have five-year tenures, which, once completed, can be extended by a 10-year tenure.


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